Ruby vs Python: Which one to choose?

Choosing between Ruby and Python is like choosing between black and white: they are BOTH are stylish and practical, but only one will suit YOU.

At first, they look very similar. But with a closer look, you will definitely find the valuable differences. And the final choice depends on what your purposes and business goals are. Long story short, let’s look at how to choose a programming language.

Python vs Ruby: Complete Side-by-Side Comparison

To set the stage, let’s compare these two languages and observe whether you should choose Ruby or Python.

Ruby vs PythonRuby vs Python

Ruby vs Python: years of release

Ruby vs Python: Pros and Cons

Like any programming language, Ruby has its pros and cons. Let’s see if Ruby is your perfect choice.

Plus #1: The style and architecture

Ruby is an excellent language if we are talking about its syntax and ideology. It is a multi-paradigm language that allows you to write code in any style (OOP, functional programming, or procedural style).

But the key is its Model-View-Controller (MVC) Ruby architecture. In simple terms, such an application will have three interconnected layers. Such a model helps to house the codes, and centralize business logic and the rules for data manipulation.

The Ruby and RoR community is open and communicative. It’s still a bit smaller than the Python one, but it is active both online and offline. Our experience in organizing Ruby meetups proves that the Ruby community is really strong.

Plus #3: Libraries and tools

The community is fresh and active, and it is not surprising that there are a lot of libraries. If you are working with Ruby for the first time, you will find a lot of useful information that may help you with developing or debugging.

Such libraries are usually created by the developers, so by working with Ruby, you are learning from someone else’s experience too.

Comparison of Frameworks of Python versud RubyComparison of Frameworks of Python versud Ruby

Infographics with comparison of Ruby on Rails vs Django

Minus #1: Flexibility shortage

In some cases, the Ruby programming language may follow some strict algorithms, which some people think gives a lack of flexibility. Nevertheless, if you need Ruby for small projects, this programming language will allow you to perform the same action in more than two ways.

Minus #2: Performance issues

Talking about Ruby vs Python speed, we should mention that Ruby has some speed and performance issues. The problem is that the boot takes some time, and Ruby’s performance is not very suitable for large projects. Despite this, we expect the release of Ruby 3 in 2020, that should fix the performance issues, improve concurrency and static analysis.

Minus #3: No chance of making a mistake

Truthfully, there is a chance. But you’d better not. Mistakes in the Ruby code can affect the whole process and slow down an application, disconnect some software elements, or affect your work in another way.

Therefore, Ruby needs your constant attention during the writing process.

Projects built with Ruby and PythonProjects built with Ruby and Python

A list of projects build with Ruby vs Python project: Apple, Google, Airbnb, Instagram, Github, Facebook

Why use Python: pros and cons

No one’s perfect, right? Python has its good and bad aspects too. Let’s review Python’s pros and cons.

Pro #1: Easy and fast to work with

Python readability is great, and the code is strictly structured. Moreover, the language is rich in features, gems, and libraries, so it’s easy to find a solution for almost any problem. Python is especially good for exploratory analysis and various paradigms of programming since it orients to objects and adopts functional programming features. All in all, the data structure in Python is pretty convenient to work with.

Python has a global community with millions of developers. This is bigger than the Ruby community since the technology itself is older. This community also has a larger scientific approach.

Pro #3: A LOT of libraries

Machine learning, artificial intelligence, big data and data science – Python has a library for almost everything you might need.

Ruby usage vs Python usageRuby usage vs Python usage

Infographics on Ruby and Python usage

To address both the pros and cons of Python, we should talk about the negative features, too.

Con #1: Speed limitations and parallel tasks

Since Python is an interpreted language, it can take some time for a performance. For instance, this is one of the reasons Python is not a very good choice for mobile development. 

In addition, Python works inefficiently with parallel threads and tasks and has difficulties when switching to higher versions (e.g, from Python 2 to Python 3). Though, this programming language is still great for web development, Linux and artificial intelligence.

Con #2: Considerable memory consumption

Due to large and flexible data-types, Python often takes up a considerable amount of memory. If your project requires a lot of memory, Python is not your friend.

Con #3: Runtime Errors

Python programmers often experience runtime errors. The language is dynamically-typed, therefore the errors only appear during runtime. This is not terrible, but it still means that working with Python requires more testing and attention.

Ruby vs Python performance: similarities and differences

Ruby and Python commonsRuby and Python commons

Ruby and Python differencesRuby and Python differences


When deciding on which programming language to use for web development, remember that Ruby and Python have different goals.

  • Python initially was created for complex mathematical calculations, great accuracy, processing of very large amounts of data.
  • Python is a scripting language. It allows you to write a framework or connect to any libraries, even in other languages. Python has more libraries and a larger community than Ruby.
  • Ruby is perfect for prototyping and MVPs, which is why it’s so popular with startups.
  • Ruby is faster, but Python is more versatile.

Choose Ruby if you:

  • need to get the solution in the shortest time
  • know that innovation matters and want your product to be deployed using the best modern approaches
  • trust in readable code
  • believe in the magic of programming tools

Choose Python if you:

  • need Python-specific libraries
  • appreciate out-of-box functionality and good documentation
  • have a project that requires stability over innovative features
  • work with artificial intelligence, machine learning or big data

So, how do you choose a programming language for your project?

Frankly, the decision is up to you. Here, at Sloboda Studio we are open to helping you with this choice.

Posted by Contributor